Sudan says security stable, urges Japan investment
TOKYO (Reuters) - A top aide to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said on Wednesday that the security situation in Darfur had improved and urged Japan to promote trade and investment in the African country, a Japanese official said.
Nafie Ali Nafie told Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura that the 2005 north-south deal known as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was "steadily moving forward", the Japanese official said.
Nafie is in Tokyo for talks with Japanese ministers, who want to take a higher profile role in the region ahead of a conference of African nations in Japan in May and the G8 summit on the northern island of Hokkaido in July.
"Life in Darfur has returned to normal," the Japanese official quoted Nafie as telling Machimura.
Machimura later said Nafie stressed that the security situation in Sudan was better than Japan believed.
Emphasising Sudan's rich mineral, oil and farm resources, Nafie urged Japan to promote trade and investment in the African country, Machimura told reporters.
The Sudanese official told Kyodo news agency on Tuesday that Sudan would welcome a contingent of troops Japan might send on a demining and construction mission to the south of the country.
Machimura said Japan would consider whether to send troops to Sudan.
"We have already given $300 million to Sudan, but when it comes to personnel contributions, we have hardly cooperated," he said. "We would like to discuss and decide how we can pursue personnel contributions, including (dispatching) Self-Defence Forces (military)."
Media reports have said the Japanese government is considering sending troops to the relatively peaceful southern Sudan as soon as June.
Japan's pacifist constitution limits the overseas activities of its troops, making it unlikely to deploy personnel to the conflict-ridden Darfur region.
Japan is eager to take part in U.N. operations in Sudan in an effort to back up its long-running bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
Von: http://africa.reuters.com, 05.03.2008